On Writing, Nomadic Lifestyle and Learning to Live Life on Life’s Terms.
I’ve started this editorial several times. First it was supposed to be an “end-of-2021” editorial. Then a “beginning-of-the-year” one. I also tried to write a February editorial, but I couldn’t finish by the time February was over. Afterwards…well I kinda dropped the whole editorial thing (I’ll tell you why shortly), until…now I guess!
So where am I and what am I doing on April 2nd at 9:30am?
I’m on a train from Berlin – where I’ve been based for the past 2 years – to Rome – my hometown.
I began traveling by train because of the pandemic. In the past 3 years, I had to move across Germany, France, and Italy many times. That’s because, contrarily to my and my partner’s plans to settle in Berlin, after living a pretty nomadic life across the US, Mexico, and Europe – as this blog shows – we haven’t quite made it yet!
Up to maybe 5 years ago (if not before), Berlin was a city where housing was easy and cheap; life, in general, was cheap, and fun and creativity were the city’s lifeblood.
Fast forward to today: there’s a major scarcity of long-term rental homes in the German capital, a scarcity I’ve never seen anywhere else I’d lived. In 3 years we had sublet, hence changed home, 7 times! During this period, to just save some money, we had spent time at our parents in Rome and Marseille (where my husband is from).
Yeah, save some money…because, as a consequence of such scarcity of housing, real estate prices have skyrocketed, steadily increasing every year.
Therefore, for the time being, it doesn’t seem our nomadic life is about to come to an end. It’s pretty stressful to have most of your stuff spread across 3 storages in 3 countries, while living out of a suitcase stuffed with clothes that are meant to guess the climates of different cities and seasons.
The flip side is that I've become a pro in urban nomadism and I'm ready to share with you all I've learned to help you create stability within uncertainty and to be able to work, be productive and get set up quickly in different homes, apart-hotels, rooms, and in different cities.
Life Lessons: From Writer’s Block to Honest Creation
But let’s get back to the present moment: the train.
If you are a writer, let me tell you: this good ol’ way to travel is super inspiring.
For starters, you have time to kill. And that’s rare given how frantic our daily lives usually are. I don’t know if you feel me on this one, but I feel there’s always something in the way, some disturbing agents that love to divert our attention from our primary purpose: writing.
Instead, once on the train, you put your luggage away and you can just relax, put your fav music on, look at the landscape scrolling outside of the window, and immerse yourself in your creative practice.
I haven’t written much lately. I have many ideas and lots of things to say. Yet, the events that occurred in my life since the beginning of 2021 have been really intense, to say the least. Traumatic if I’m to be honest with you. I went and I’m still going through a lot of pain and probably the most drastic changes in my life so far.
The one thing that I know for certain is that I can no longer fake it. I’m tired of pretending. I’m not saying that what you’ve read on my blog is fake. Definitely the contrary! Though, as a personal lifestyle blog, what I write reflects what I do and where I am physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I have this need, an urge really, to be brutally honest with you. I want you to relate, and to appreciate my stories because of their authenticity. I want you to know me for who I really am, and to possibly take away some of the knowledge and wisdom I’m gaining during my life journey.
Similarly to when you travel by train or on a road trip, what matters in life is not so much the destination, the result, but rather the steps, the ride – which is the work we put into what we want to manifest – that gets us there.
Life is more interesting and fulfilling when we make it to stay present in everything we do. By trusting the process, we can work on letting go of the focus on the end result, as well as our expectations. Accordingly, we can live more easily and fully.
Life Lessons: Accepting Life on Life’s Terms
Why have I had a massive writer’s block for nearly 1 year??!!
On the 21st of January 2021 my 97 y/o grandma, who basically raised me, passed away because of covid. Some months prior, my mom had been diagnosed with Myeloma, a tumor in the bone marrow. She had begun the chemo just a few months before. When you do chemo you take medications that kill your immune system, otherwise the chemo doesn’t work properly.
My mom used to take care of her mom a lot. My grandma got covid after she was hospitalized for an aneurysm. When she got back home (already tested twice and showing negative results) my mom run to her to stay with her and comfort her. She was a very caring person.
2 days after my grandma got back home she tested positive for covid and my mom did as well.
I was already back in Berlin when all this happened. I was far when my mom told me she tested positive for covid. It’s the Delta variant, which has been the deadliest. With no immune system, I knew she didn’t stand a chance.
When my mom told me she was positive I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. In a fraction of a second I saw my future: my grandma dead, my mom dead, my father left alone and me having to take care of everything.
It’s exactly what happened. On February 3rd my mom passed away after her lungs stopped working.
Both my grandma and my mom died alone, in a hospital corridor. Because of the pandemic, the hospital was overcrowded and nobody could go see them. It was brutal on every level.
I had to leave Berlin immediately and I wrote the speech I’d read at the funeral on the plane. That was just infinite sadness and utter devastation. And it still feels that way…
Last year today I was frantically emptying my grandma’s home, which I’d inherited, to put it on sale. I went through all of her life. And my mom’s life. And mine too.
My grandma kept everything. Literally. I found things that were not meant for me. Letters my grandma wrote to my mom that were hidden in a box, probably intended for my mom to find, once grandma would be gone. That never happened. I learned things about my mom’s past I’d rather not have known. I found tons and tons of pictures of my grandma’s family tree. I kept them all without knowing who these people were and no one left to ask that to.
It took me 7 excruciating months to empty the house. I kept a lot of things, and I’ve thrown away a ton.
Now that home is sold. It’s gone, and part of my heart is gone with it.
Losing a loved one, especially a parent, is a type of pain that’s hard to describe in words. It’s like a wound that won’t stop bleeding. And it will keep on bleeding, probably for the rest of my life. Gradually, with time, it’ll bleed less and less, because we learn to live with it.
I’ve been trying to postpone this moment for a long time but I’m a real fucking adult now! Nobody takes care of me anymore. It’s tough but that’s life on life’s terms. And I know it’s time I begin accepting those terms for what they are because they’re fully out of my control.
What my mom had always wanted the most for me was for me to take good care of myself and love myself. This is the work I’ve been doing lately. I’m still a massive work in progress but it gets better day by day, baby step by baby step.
A part of this journey is to focus on doing what I love. The latter, plus patience, are the key to success. And what do I define as success? Building a life I’m comfortable with and becoming a person I don’t want to escape from.
As I choose the path of self-love, I intend to make my future content more relatable and more focused on storytelling. This is what you can expect from this blog moving on:
- urban nomadism stories
- interviews with creatives and creators
- tips on freelancing, remote work, and entrepreneurship
- advices on overcoming the myriad of hurdles we encounter on the road towards loving ourselves and putting ourselves first.
- art and cultural events reviews and recommendations
- Travel tips and tales
This year I will stand by my mom’s wishes for me and by the name I gave to this blog: to know my destination, yet to always live in and appreciate the present moment. That’s how we enjoy the ride of our lives.